Davis Keillor-Dunn’s 15th goal of the season proved enough as Mansfield edged a narrow 1-0 League Two victory over visiting promotion rivals Notts County to keep the pressure on leaders Stockport.
Stags had survived a second-minute let-off when Christy Pym had to block a David McGoldrick finish and Scott Robertson put a follow-up wide.
But after just eight minutes – when Notts failed to clear their lines – former Oldham midfielder Keillor-Dunn curled an unstoppable finish into the top-right corner from the edge of the box.
McGoldrick sent another low effort just wide and the woodwork then twice saved Stags in as many minutes as everyone missed a Jodi Jones cross and it hit the far post.
Moments later, Aden Flint headed an Aaron Nemane corner against the underside of his own crossbar, while Ollie Clarke blazed a good effort just over for the hosts before the break.
Stags had the better second-half openings and Aidan Stone made a good save to keep out a powerful Keillor-Dunn shot after 68 minutes, while – four minutes later – Clarke had a shot tipped over.
Six minutes from time, Stone denied Will Swan with his legs after the young striker broke away down the left but their early goal was enough as they completed the double over the Magpies.